Sadly, we know that magic and muggle technology don't mix well. But wouldn't it be nice if there was a spell that could charge your phone? The Wingardium Chargiosa pad is the next best thing. I've used a spare copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but you could use whatever book you have lying around that you no longer wish to read. Perhaps you have no longer need that copy of Year with a Yeti now you know Lockhart is a fraud or have an outdated copy of A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration that you haven't touched since your Hogwarts days.
Wingardium Chargiosa is a charging pad that uses Qi inductive charging (wireless charging) to charge a mobile device. If your phone comes with Qi charging as some Android phones do, you simply have to set your phone down on the correct spot of the charging pad and it will begin charging. If your phone does not come with Qi technology, you can buy a case or a receiver to slip inside of your case to make this work.
Wingardium Chargiosa is a simple, straight-forward project. You should be able to complete it in an afternoon or weekend. If you can glue things together and cut things out, you can make this.
The directions for this project are based on How To Hack Your Phone Charger by HouseholdHacker on YouTube combined with various directions for creating a book safe.
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Step 1: Gather Supplies
- A paperback book you no longer want to read
- Exacto knife
- Foam brush
- Heavy books (to ensure your book dries flat and doesn't warp)
- Plastic bags (to protect the cover of your book, as well as your heavy books)
- Hot glue gun (not pictured)
Wireless charging materials
- Qi wireless transmitter
Make sure you buy a transmitter that uses the Qi standard. I purchased my first transmitter off of eBay, but it couldn't connect through the cover of the book. I ended up purchasing and using the Universal Qi Wireless Charging Transmitter from Adafruit
- Qi wireless receiver for your device
You only need this if your phone isn't Qi compatible (this includes all iPhones). I bought a thin transmitter that plugs into the base of the my phone and sits behind a soft, flexible case. You can also buy full cases that have the technology built in. I bought one from eBay. Again, make sure it says it is Qi compatible.
- Spare microUSB cord
Most of the transmitters I saw available did not come with a power cord. I just used an extra cord I had sitting around.
A note about choosing your book
Inductive charging isn't quite as strong as most people hope. You will have to place your phone on a very specific spot on your charging pad. Also, you want to think about reducing the amount of material between the transmitter and receiver. This means that paperbacks will likely work better than hardcovers. However, paperbacks are harder to glue shut than hardcovers (more likely to warp), so a skinny paperback in good condition is the best choice for this project.
Step 2: Glue Your Book
First, we need to get the book ready to hold a charger. We're going to do this by applying several layers of Modpodge to the edges of the book.
- Protect your work surface. Lay down newspaper or some other protective coating.
- Protect any part of the book you don't want glued together with plastic bags. Open up to your starting page (remember we want it to be very close to the cover). Include the front cover and any pages you don't want to cut through in the plastic bag.
- Holding the book firmly closed, use the foam brush to apply a thin layer of Modpodge around all the edges of the book.
- Stack heavy books on top of your glued book to keep it flat and stable.
- Once the Modpodge has dried, add another coat. I repeated this process three times.
Step 3: Cut Out a Spot for the Transmitter
Next, we need to cut out a spot to find our transmitter inside.
- Place your transmitter where you want it to be.
- Use the ruler and pencil to lightly outline where you want to cut. Include a spot for the cord to leave the book.
- Remove the transmitter
- Use the exacto knife to cut carefully along the lines you've drawn.
- Continue cutting along this line and pulling out pages until the transmitter just fits inside the book with the cover closed.
Don't cut too deep! If you go too far, your transmitter might have problems connecting with your receiver. I accidentally cut my first square too deep, and had to cut a second spot to make up for it!
Step 4: Prepare Your Phone and Place Transmitter
If needed, set your phone up for charging. I plugged my receiver into the charging port of my phone, and then let the receiver lay flat against the back. I covered this all with a soft/flexible case that I borrowed from a family member. My hard case did not work for this, because it was nearly impossible to fit around the receiver and failed to connect with the transmitter.
Place your transmitter in the book, but don't glue anything down yet! Plug the transmitter in, close the book, and use your phone to test the charging pad. Please note that your charging pad will likely need your phone to be in just the right place. You may spend some time nudging your phone around the top of your book until the screen lights up and the phone chimes.
Once you've confirmed the charging pad works, glue the transmitter in place (I used hot glue).
Step 5: Enjoy
Plug your new Wingardium Chargiosa in and place it casually on top of a stack of books. You can now impress all your guests with your latent magic skills, setting your phone down and charging it without having to plug your phone in directly to the wall!
You may want to trace around your phone on the cover of the book when it is on the correct spot, so you know where to set it to charge. And alternate option is place some sort of sticker above the charging spot, so it is easier to know where to set your device. If you use the pad regularly, you'll begin to learn where exactly to set it to make it connect.